Galilee, the region of northern Palestine, came under the Assyrians in 722 BC. Many of the inhabitants were exiled to Nineveh, and pagan foreigners were brought in to settle in the land. The region experienced more foreign influence than Judea, and its inhabitants intermarried with the pagans. The prophet Isaiah referred to it as gelil haggoyim — “District of the Gentiles” (8:23) precisely because of pagan elements. The impure race, the pagan elements, and the suspect orthodoxy of belief made Galilee a “land of darkness.” Jesus begins his public ministry in this region. His presence and teaching in Galilee are like the star of his birth. Jesus is the light that has arisen in Galilee populated by both Jews and pagans. His presence there marks the new dawn of hope.
Gospel • MATTHEW 4:12-17, 23-25 12
When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and went to live in Capernaum by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali, that what had been said through Isaiah the prophet might be fulflled: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen. From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He went around all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness among the people. His fame spread to all of Syria, and they brought to him all who were sick with various diseases and racked with pain, those who were possessed, lunatics, and paralytics, and he cured them. 25And great crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan followed him.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2021,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.